The Telangana state government will enact a special law on road safety to prevent road accidents by mandating certain standards in the construction of highways and maintenance of safety and preventive features.
The government plans to introduce the Special Road Safety Bill in the forthcoming budget session of the Assembly. When it is passed, Telangana state will be the second after Kerala to have a road safety law. An official of the transport department said that a draft of the bill was under examination by the law department.
Sources said the new act mainly aimed at coordinating efforts between roads and buildings, medical and health and traffic police departments, right from construction of the road to maintaining safety standards to preventing accidents and participating in rescue operations if there is any eventuality.
The official said that after the introduction of the new law, the job of the roads and buildings department would not just be to construct roads but also take care of regulation of traffic on the state and national highways and enforcement of traffic laws. The new law stipulates deployment of mobile squads on highways to regulate traffic and ensure that motorists adhere to speed limits.
The official said the Union transport ministry had constituted a committee headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, which recently conducted a meeting with chief secretaries and secretaries of transport departments of all states to discuss measures to reduce road accidents by at least 50 per cent. The committee asked state governments to submit reports within three months on the steps being taken to maintain safety standards.
The official said that about 5,000 people were killed in road accidents in the state every year. To reduce the numbers, police had identified accident-prone areas on highways and were taking preventive measures. ‘Black spots’, where accidents could occur, are also being rectified in urban areas.